Creative industry policy transfer to Asian countries: Exploring the role of UNESCO and the British Council

The cultural and creative industries have travelled far and wide from their initial policy uses in Australia and the UK. Virtually every country in the world now uses the terms in one way or another in their cultural, urban, and development policies. Though relatively little is known about what these terms have come to mean through the process of their international and interinstitutional policy transfer.

The questions we set out to ask are: Who has driven this global spread, and how? What roles have international organisations such as the British Council and UNESCO played in this process? What influence have local priorities, challenges, and aims had on the interpretation of the discourse? And what can we learn from this for more effective policy exchange and implementation?

The project builds on the combined strengths of the supervisory team at the Universities of Melbourne and Manchester. Collaboratively and individually, they have worked and published on these questions, both in South East Asia and beyond.

The project ties in with Dr De Beukelaer’s ARC-funded Discovery Project “UNESCO and the Making of Global Cultural Policy”. It builds on Dr Gilmore’s extensive work on policy transfer. The topical expertise of Dr Parry and the extensive regional knowledge of Dr Jurriëns further strengthen the project.

Alongside the important contributions the research itself is expected to make, the project will also help the supervisory team to develop a more grounded understanding of the environments in which many of our international MA students hope to work upon graduation.


The University of Melbourne: Christiaan De Beukelaer and Edwin Jurriëns.

University of Manchester: Abigail Gilmore and Simon Parry.